Kantar Retail's Stephen Mader talks about retailers with a curated assortment of products

OPINION: Let’s get curated

Stephen Mader from analysts Kantar Retail discusses how online retailers are being inspired by Pinterest…

One of the hot trends in 2013 has been curation. This is not really a new concept, but it’s risen front and center again a few weeks ago with Nordstrom showcasing its most-pinned products in-store, and website Pinterest moving slightly more commercial by embedding pricing alerts for pinned items. We’ve also more recently seen Amazon in the US begin to tweak its recommended products and wishlist platform to replicate the visual style and functionality of Pinterest.

This idea has taken shape in the form of automatic replenishment retailers that offer a curated assortment of products, often at different price levels of good/better/best, with those chosen items being delivered on a set schedule. Dollarshaveclub.com is one of the better known retailers with this business model, as is Wittlebee.com for children’s apparel. I see potential for this model to expand across some markets in Europe over the next two years, in particular in premium consumer electronics.

When we look at the future shopper, they are constantly looking for ways to help manage the complexity in their lives. Retailers have often addressed this by limiting assortment – curated collections of products are the next evolution of limited assortment tactics wrapped in a better branding narrative with the shopper.

For suppliers, this should prompt a conversation around seasonal or event merchandising and marketing in the online space. How can you partner with your retail customer to curate your portfolio for a specific occasion or shopper mission?

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